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Cruz, Bradshaw lead Giants past Jets 29-14

Posted: December 25, 2011 8:47 AM ; Updated: December 25, 2011 8:47 AM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Rex Ryan was brash and confident all week, insisting his Jets were the kings of New York.

Well, the Giants shut him up in a big way - taking the city bragging rights and setting up an even more important showdown with the Dallas Cowboys next weekend with a 29-14 victory Saturday.

"I hate to use that cliche, but this is a huge one," left tackle David Diehl said. "This is about the city, the city of New York and what team wants to be responsible. They have talked all week and said what they wanted to say. From Day 1, they're our big brother and other stuff. We went out there and played our game and showed whose stadium this is."

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Colts' chances at Luck now up in air

Posted: December 23, 2011 10:46 PM ; Updated: December 23, 2011 10:46 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- All that good luck the Indianapolis Colts have received on the field these last two weeks could leave them with no Luck at all when the NFL draft rolls around.

The Colts have won two straight games to fall into a tie with the Vikings and Rams for the league's worst record and the chance to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick.

With Peyton Manning out for the year with a neck injury, the Colts lost their first 13 games of the season, and most figured Luck could start looking for an Indy-based realtor.

Then a funny thing happened - the Colts started winning.

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Packers' Rodgers named 2011 AP Male Athlete of Year

Posted: December 21, 2011 5:13 PM ; Updated: December 21, 2011 5:18 PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- When Aaron Rodgers needs to rekindle the feelings that drove his rise from a junior college quarterback to Super Bowl MVP, he doesn't have to look too far.

Rodgers held on to the many rejection letters he received from marquee college programs as he was coming out of high school. Even today, he leaves a few of them sitting out at his house.

"I chose the couple that I thought were most demeaning to display in a space in my house that really nobody is able to see but myself," Rodgers said. "It's something that I think is important to keep fresh on your mind. Maybe not every day, but once a week your eyes might pan across it and you have a little laugh about the journey you've been on - at the same time, remembering that there still are people out there that you can prove something to."

Good luck finding those doubters now.

Rodgers is the 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, chosen by members of The Associated Press, after he turned in an MVP performance in the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in February and then went on to lead his team on a long unbeaten run this season.

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Source: Rose signs $94M extension

Posted: December 21, 2011 5:11 PM ; Updated: December 21, 2011 5:17 PM

CHICAGO (AP) -- It seemed like something out of a movie script the moment the Chicago Bulls took Derrick Rose with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

The latest twist? A maximum contract extension.

That's just another milestone in a rapid and steady rise for the point guard from the city's South Side to stardom with his hometown team.

The reigning NBA MVP agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Chicago Bulls worth approximately $94 million, a person familiar with the situation said.

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Rangers win rights to negotiate with Japanese star Yu Darvish

Posted: December 20, 2011 1:28 PM ; Updated: December 20, 2011 1:29 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Texas Rangers won the Yu Darvish sweepstakes and the chance to negotiate a contract with Japan's top pitcher.

Major League Baseball announced Monday night that the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan's Pacific League informed the U.S. commissioner's office that they have accepted the highest bid for Darvish.

That sealed bid was submitted under the posting system by the Rangers, winners of the past two AL pennants. Now, they have 30 days to sign Darvish to a deal.

"Our ownership went the extra mile on this one," general manager Jon Daniels said on a conference call.

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49ers beat Big Ben, Steelers 20-3

Posted: December 20, 2011 1:07 PM ; Updated: December 20, 2011 1:07 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- From the swirling winds off the bay that can play fits with the football to the 1989 earthquake that rocked the World Series, Candlestick Park has long been an unpredictable venue known for its challenges.

Monday Night Football nearly became a Monday Night Fiasco when everything went dark - twice.

San Francisco's lights-out return to prime time in a 20-3 victory over the Steelers helped salvage what could have been an embarrassing evening for everyone involved on the NFL's biggest stage after a pair of power outages delayed the game for close to 35 minutes in all.

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Chargers beat playoff-bound Ravens 34-14

Posted: December 19, 2011 10:22 AM ; Updated: December 19, 2011 10:22 AM

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Philip Rivers isn't going to get caught up trying to figure out what it will take for his San Diego Chargers to reach the playoffs.

He just knows that if San Diego can't win its final two games - on the road, no less - it's not going to matter.

Rivers threw for one score and reached the 4,000-yard mark for the fourth straight season, Ryan Mathews ran for two scores and hit 1,000 yards rushing, and the Chargers won their third straight game, beating the playoff-bound Baltimore Ravens 34-14 on Sunday night.

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